On March 29 and 30, hundreds of volunteers will gather at Bull Run Park in Centreville, Virginia, to challenge their survival skills and face the harsh conditions, political conflicts, and violence that millions of refugees face globally by taking part in the world’s first and largest refugee simulation.
The Global Refugee Simulation & Conference (GRSC), led by the American Red Cross and its National Youth Council, will provide an experiential learning opportunity that excites, engages, and inspires young people to action. This weekend-long learning experience aims to increase empathy for refugees and educate participants about International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
"The GRSC Team has worked endlessly to make this project as realistic and engaging as possible,” said Nora Sanzo, Chief of Staff of the GRSC Student Volunteer Executive Team. “We’re hoping that as participants, youth will realize the humanitarian issues that are relevant today and that it’s possible to act on all of them."
The six-hour, realistic refugee simulation will take place on Saturday, March 29 and will educate participants about the challenges that refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) endure. Participants will work in groups to simulate families escaping a war zone, traversing minefields, crossing a border, and living in a refugee camp that will require securing food, seeking medical attention, and finding or building shelter.
Participants will add depth to their understanding of the issues through an interactive digital conference held in the American Red Cross Disaster Operations Center on Sunday, March 30. Viewers of the Conference can maintain an online social media presence to interact with refugee experts and renowned speakers who will engage in a debate directly answering viewers’ questions in real-time via social media platforms.
"GRSC is the perfect opportunity for youth to realize that they do have a voice, while at the same time learning about global pertinent issues," said Sanzo.
Anyone interested in participating can sign up online. There is a $20 participant fee that includes transportation from Foggy Bottom, DC to Bull Run Park, VA, simulation materials, and online access to the digital conference. Additional information can be found on social media by following GRSC on Twitter or liking the GRSC Facebook page. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.